November is for Gratitude

Grateful for This View

We are coming up on the anniversary of moving into our house here in Maine. It’ll be 4 years that we have lived here and I didn’t want the anniversary to pass without marking the day with a grateful heart. We are so fortunate to love here and we never take it for granted.

Gray Day

I’m working away on my knitting and I am making slow but sure progress. Knitting is such a wonderful “activity” and as the winter gets closer and closer, I’m happy to have several projects on the needles and several more in my knotting pipeline.

Ma Belle Amie Cowl

I’m knitting my second Ma Belle Amie cowl and this one has a distinct Christmas color combination. I’m knitting with Jojoland’s Baritone, a DK weight squishy superwash wool. I have chosen the exact same colors one of my Friday knitters made. She has a good eye for color and I thought this would prove to be a good project for when I don’t want to count. Or pay attention. I have modified the pattern a bit for this project and I’ll put the details in my project page on Ravelry.

Pumpkins and Acorns

We’ve had a ton of acorns in our yard this fall. I love them. When Hunter Hammersen showed knitted acorns I immediately ordered the pattern and went out to collect some acorn caps. I’ve knitted a few and have plans to knit more. I just need to set them aside for now to get a couple of orders done. The pumpkins are replacements for my daughter whose puppy chewed hers. Naughty dog! *wink.

I’m finished with the body of my v-neck cardigan. I continue to work on my Stephen West Starflake KAL and despite being frightfully far behind, I’m enjoying the process. In waist deep in the two-color Brioche section. Last night I made my first mistake and had to rip back a few rows because I missed two rows which meant that I was knitting on the wrong side. Frustrating but fixed now.

Rainbow Socks

I’m working on rainbow socks for my French grandson. At his request. There’s nothing better than having someone you love request a knitted item that is desired. I can’t wait to see his face when they arrive. Of course, I can’t send to one without the other so a pair of rosey pink socks will follow for little sister.

New Yarn and Fabric Storage

I have several more projects in my pipeline. A few of which are sitting out on my new cabinets in my studio. I’ve put some of my yarn up on the shelf on the left with lavender sachets. Books and reference materials will love in the shelf to the right. My carpenter is working on the drawers and doors for the cabinets on the bottom. I hope it’ll be done soon. I am eager to get back to some semblance of order. I can’t even find my ironing board behind the sewing projects. I’m grateful to have these new cabinets!

The mess that needs to be put away!

Since we have passed the point of no return, it’s now getting dark before 4pm. I like waking up with some light but I don’t like going home from work in the dark. Hello, winter!

Gone knitting.

More details can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m “lindar” on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits on Instagram @queenbeeknits and on Facebook Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner.

40

So, as of tonight I have finished 40 projects so far this year. I had a goal of 50 … I’m thinking that I may not finish another ten projects but I’ll give it a good old college try!

A page from my bullet journal

I finished my husband’s sweater in time for him to wear it at our family weekend in New Hampshire last weekend. He’s worn it enough to lose one of the three buttons. I love the deep green color. It’s a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern knit in Ella Rae Classic Wool.

I also finished his birthday socks. He was so sweet to gift this yarn to me in my Christmas stocking last year. With the intent that I would knit him socks with it. The yarn was a bear to knit with. Quite stiff and a bit heavier than the Worsted that I typically use for socks. My hands were tired after knitting these socks.

I’ve already cast on three more projects and I have a long list of others to be completed. Including three orders for crocheted items. Maybe I’ll get them done before the end of the year. Sadly, not many of my projects are small.

Tonight I was working on my Christmas La Belle Amie cowl. I’m knitting with Jojoland Baritone and I love the hand of this superwash wool. It’s super squishy. These two greens, a creamy ivory and a red will make this a good piece for between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I also finished a pair of fingerless mitts that I have subsequently sold. I taught a class of wonderful women at our adult education program. The class was embroidered mittens. I didn’t want to make mittens and “shortened” mine to mitts. I was very happy with the outcome.

I’ve got to close because tomorrow is my Saturday to work and I have to get some beauty sleep! I’m feeling fairly accomplished at finishing!

Gone knitting!

Details of all of these projects can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner on Facebook and QueenBeeKnits on Instagram, too.

Strong Women

I am privileged to work with strong women. Special women. Loving women. Talented women.

I’ve worked with a lot of women during my various careers and they’ve all taught me a little bit more about who I want to be. This group of women with whom I work now, in the fiber arts, is no exception.

Lallybroch

I’ve finished something! One WIP finished, a million to go!

Ruffle and Spine of Lallybroch in Malabrigo Arroyo

Lallybroch Shawl is a satisfying knit that doesn’t use up too much head space because the majority of the shawl is garter stitch! One needs to be cognizant of the spine (I marked mine with stitch markers) but otherwise, the only thing you’d need to worry about is the “right” and “wrong” side.

I fretted, as I’ve said before, about my yarn choice. I have a customer who has knitted this shawl in Malabrigo Rios. I really don’t like to wear shawls made in a worsted weight yarn … even if it’s a light worsted weight. It’s just too warm to wear inside! So, I chose a yarn in Malabrigo Arroyo, the sport weight little brother (or sister?) of Rios. I’m really glad that I did.

66 Lavanda

I love the Lavanda colorway, it’s a rustic purple to gray to brown that I thought would be a good match for this shawl. Since the design is based on the Outlander show I didn’t want to use a more modern colorful colorway.(If you haven’t seen Outlander, you really and truly should watch it on the Stars network, it’s absolutely amazing!) I bought three hanks of the yarn and used almost all of it. I did knit beyond the stitch count in the pattern. I knitted the body of the shawl with two hanks and then started the third with the middle and ruffle sections. It worked out well. No major yarn chicken here! (This time!)

My shawl is blocking now and I will look forward to wearing it to work this week.

Ends woven in, blocking … on my guest room bed!

You can read more about my Lallybroch Shawl on my Raverly project page. I’m Lindar on Ravelry. Follow me on at Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner Facebook and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

Polar Vortex and the Very Good Day

After the Snow

We started the day with some really good snow, well, actually, it started last night and continued into the day today. I love the snow! By late morning we (the “royal” we. Ok, my husband) were cleaning up.

Before … the floor was littered with WIPs and project bags. Now the floor is clear and the shelves are cleaned up (again.) I also cleaned out a bag of acrylic yarn that I bought when I lived in Florida and wanted to learn to crochet!

I spent the majority of the day in my atelier cleaning up my messes and organizing my WIPs. I have unified most of the tiny and not-so-tiny balls of leftover sock yarn that I am crocheting into a blanket. I still have a basket full of fingering leftovers that aren’t yet into ball form. (It may take a lifetime to finish but that’s ok.) My shelves are more organized and the floor is clear!

We started the day with really yummy Amish Cinnamon Bread muffins and my little dogs loved having me home all day. Don’t tell them that I loved being at home with them, too!

I’m nearly done knitting my Lallybroch Shawl. My Canvas Cardigan hasn’t been out of its project bag today, nor has my Passerine Hat. Tomorrow’s another day … and I’ll be at the yarn shop!

Gone knitting! (Not really, I’m going to bed.)

Busy (Queen) Bee

You may or may not know that Christmas is not my favorite holiday. There is way too much pressure to find the perfect gift for every person on your life. And I find I feel pressured to find all the perfect gifts, too.

That said, I have some wonderful students who pay me weekly for my expertise. They come to my class and have become some of my favorite people and friends. I struggle to find something useful and organic to give them as a thank you gift. A happy holidays gift. This year I had two ideas that I’ve made for my students. Yesterday, I made them happen. It took me the better part of the day but I am happy with the products – which shall remain nameless – and all they need is “packaging”. A label and some gift wrap and my class gifts are finished and ready for our party on Friday.

Gift Number 1 – organic bees wax, cocoa butter and essential oil. oil

I am sharing only the ingredients because I don’t want to give away the surprise. My students will also receive a second gift …

Gift 2. Coconut oil, Sugar and essential oils.

I know these are quality products made from quality ingredients for the best group of women I have the privilege of teaching every week.

Gone knitting.

WIPs No Longer in Time Out

IMG_4096I’ve actually begun to knit a little bit again. The tendons seem to be healing slowly but surely and I can’t stand NOT knitting! So. Old projects are coming out of “time out” and getting finished. Slowly!

IMG_4093I finished my Frosting Shawl. I love the cable on one edge, a reversible cable. I also like the icord bind off. I like this bind off in general because it makes a nice, substantial edge and it really does finish it well. I knitted my Frosting Shawl with the Manos Allegria colorway that the pattern showed in Ravelry. I love the colorway. I did not love the way the bright blue dye bled. I will try to re-wash it with some soap and see if I can whiten it up again. Ugh. Update: I did wash it again and it’s better but I know that the bright blue bled. I’m still not thrilled but I’m ok with it.

IMG_4097I also finished a little zip-up-the-back sweater for a baby gift. I knitted it in Plymouth Encore, a sturdy and easy care worsted, acrylic and wool blend. I love the red that I picked for this project. The pattern is an “oldie but goodie” that we hand out as a free pattern at my LYS. It is a simple knit and you can choose one of two cables for the center front and sleeves or knit it without cables. The part of this sweater that made me laugh out loud was that it had a zipper and in all of my years of knitting, I have never sewn a zipper into a sweater. Well, now I have! And it was a great success! I’ll post pictures after it’s been shipped and received! Update: the new baby has been born!

I’ve also been working on some charity projects. One of my sweet Friday students asked for hats and mittens for children who attend a Christmas party at an area club. I delivered two hats last Friday and this week I’ll deliver a pair of mittens. Simple, quick and very rewarding to know that every child will go home with a hat and mittens that night.

IMG_4092I pulled out my A Walk Through Aspens wrap. It’s been “away” for a long (long) time. So, A Walk Through Aspens is a beautiful bulky cabled wrap. I am going to “edit” the size of the project and make it into a pillow. I’m not sure exactly how it will work yet, but I’m knitting along … and remembering how much I like cables! This is a beautiful pattern and I am knitting with Cascade Eco+ in a really pretty blueish-grayish. It’ll be really pretty.

I’ve been working on an embroidery project, too. I am finding that I like embroidery – at least simple stuff! I bought a pattern at the Maine Quilt Show several years ago and finally pulled it out thinking it’s a good way to “not knit”. So, I bought some white cotton, interfacing and lots of colors of DMC floss and I’m stitching away. I’ll add some Christmas fabric around it and it’ll be a great Christmas pillow for our house. Next up is an appliqué pattern that I bought the same year. I decided to hand-stitch it … again, “not knitting”. I’ll keep you updated!

I’ve got a couple of thumbs to knit. What are you working on?